what is the definition of a "common area" in an apartment building? What is the etiquette for use of the identified common areas?
In an apartment building, the hallway, elevator and stairs are considered "common" areas. They belong to everyone who lives in the building. Most apartment buildings do not allow you to store anything in those areas, such as shoes outside the door to your apartment or a chair or some thing you might like to have there. Even wreaths and decorative objects are subject to removal when placed there.